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I don’t know, if there was any other single food-item in this world that, in the best sense possible, welcomes manipulations as much as say, tacos.

I mean think about it.  In this world where the not-so-secret food-police who enforces the law of authenticity, still patrols much of the way we perceive and evaluate what and how we eat, this iconic Mexican establishment seems to be freely, and deliciously if I might add, looming well outside of its strict jurisdiction.  They have applaudedly gone over and beyond their traditional origins, shown more adaptability and dare I say, humour, that’s unbound by the narrowness of ethnicity without muss or fuss.  How does it do it?  This means, to me at least, more than eating.  If you just take a look at this mad house we’re all living under now – where you can’t cook a pot of bolognese sauce without turning some Italian nonna in her graves, or enjoy any other blurred out version of mapo tofu without stepping on some bitches’ toes (who me?), or fucking crack a joke without hate – it would appear that, fingers crossed, the modern tacos are practically a beacon for social miracles.  This is not me saying pure authenticity, in food or anything else, is bad, nor is it good.  I guess, it’s only natural, a mean for us to identify with something, to belong, to cling onto a place in this world where we could find familiarity, call it pride, then do things to defend it.  But here we are stuck, on this globe that we were told is supposed to be getting smaller and smaller by the days, and inherently for the same reason, more and more hostile by the minute.  Diehard authenticity can taste more intolerant than delicious.  And I mean that in a lot more ways than foods.  So I guess here’s my question:

Why can’t we all just behave like tacos?


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Tacos are friendly.  Tacos are embracive.  Tacos love being Korean just as much as they love being Mexican, and cares more about deliciousness than righteousness, and if only we could all talk this way out of our issues.  Like how this conversation begin with the aroma that permeates the apartment when this big hunk of fat-marbled pork-butt roasts slowly in a sriracha-based sauce blended with Jamaican jerk-seasonings like ground allspice, cinnamon, cloves, freshly thymes, soy sauce and whatnots, until fork tender and sticky.  Then it is fiercely chopped, with only love, into small bite-size pieces that get married back into its own spicy braising liquid, just so it could smoothly negotiate with a creamy and cooling dollop of avocado sour cream-mash.  The finely minced tomato, shallot and cilantro salad agreed to its terms to bring refreshment and bites, while a contrasting voice of spicy salsa verde made of pureed kiwi, cilantro and green chilis, squirts its heated opinions all over the party.  But ultimately, in cheers and toasts, everything welds into a mouthful of crazy goodness on top warm flour tortillas.  It’s a melting pot within a melting pot.  A true joint effort with only delicious intentions.  And it’s the greatest testimony that even a seemingly chaotic and separate bunch of flavours or perspectives, can all together, work into an epic meal shared over a round table with laughters and mutual satisfactions.

Maybe, of course, we can’t all be like tacos.  After all, we’re only humans.  But one giant bite at these tacos.  A small leap, to me at least, for hope in mankind.

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Yield: 12~14 small tacos


  • 26.5 oz (750 grams) pork shoulder/pork butt
  • 1/4 cup (65 grams) sriracha sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbsp (40 grams) ginger, diced
  • 2~3 (40 grams) scallion, white part only
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4~5 green jalapeno, or long green chilis
  • 1 whole green kiwi, peeled
  • 1 large handful (50 grams) cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp pickling juice from pickled cucumber
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 ripen avocado, skin and pit removed
  • Equal amount of sour cream
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 small handful cilantro, finely minced


  1. TO MAKE THE JERKED SRIRACHA ROAST PORK: Preheat oven on 320F/160C. In a blender, blend sriracha sauce, garlic, ginger, scallion, onion, fresh thyme leaves, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, sugar, cloves, ground allspice, black peppercorns, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg and salt together until smooth. Rub the mixture evenly over the pork shoulder inside a small baking-dish, then cover with foil, leaving a small venting hole for steam to escape. Roast for 3:30~4 hours until the pork is very tender. Cut the pork into small bite-size pieces and mix well with the sauce. Can be done the day before.
  2. TO MAKE THE KIWI SALSA VERDE: Over open flames, toast jalapeno (or long green chilis) until thoroughly charred on the surface. Scrape off the charred skin with a small knife and discard, then remove part of the seeds as well (especially if you don't want it too spicy)(you should have about 32 grams of roasted jalapeno). In a blender, blend roasted japalpeno, kiwi, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, pickling juice, sugar and ground cumin until smoothly pureed. Transfer to a squeeze-bottle. Can be made the day ahead.
  3. BEFORE SERVING: Mash avocado, sour cream, lime juice and ground black pepper together until slightly chunky. Set aside. Squeeze out any excess juice from the tomato, then finely dice. Mix evenly with finely minced shallots and cilantro. Set aside.
  4. Re-toast or steam the flour tortillas until warm. Smear a generous amount of avocado cream on the bottom, then top with jerked sriracha roast pork and tomato toppings. Serve with lots of kiwi salsa verde and fresh lime.

  • Trish @ Well Worn Fork

    March 25, 2015 at 11:27 PM Reply

    I need these in my life. All of them!

  • Kevin

    March 25, 2015 at 11:43 PM Reply

    You’re killing me with these photos right now.

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    March 26, 2015 at 12:02 AM Reply

    I can’t believe even kiwis got invited to the taco party. Like furry little tomatillos. I’m into it.

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    March 26, 2015 at 12:16 AM Reply

    oh, you. these are amazing (as usual).

  • Ursula @

    March 26, 2015 at 12:28 AM Reply

    I am a huge fan of pico de gallo (= tomato topping). I put it on every other dish, especially in summer, when the tomatoes taste like tomatoes. The tacos look delicious!

  • Michelle | Ausplendor!

    March 26, 2015 at 12:35 AM Reply

    Nice photos! Do you shoot them in natural light?

    Are the tortillas good quality in your neck of the woods? In Berlin, it’s hard to find tortillas that aren’t drier than Grandma’s hoo-ha.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      March 26, 2015 at 12:16 PM Reply

      Michelle, the tortillas are OK I guess… I usually steam them again before serving, which brings back the moisture level and softness. You should try it with yours!!

  • Matt Robinson

    March 26, 2015 at 1:11 AM Reply

    Seriously the greatest tacos I have seen in a long time, amazing!

  • S Lauren | Modern Granola

    March 26, 2015 at 4:24 AM Reply

    That’s funny I was seriously just dreaming up a kiwi salsa about an hour ago. How weird is that? This looks beautiful and delicious. I’m excited to try it!

  • kimithy

    March 26, 2015 at 5:04 AM Reply

    Whoa, that kiwi salsa is inspired. I am DEFINITELY trying this – seems like it’d be great as a diced pico as well…

  • Rach

    March 26, 2015 at 7:48 AM Reply

    I loved the writing of this post, I thought that it was really on point about the friendliness of tacos and all. Anyhow, kudos on an awesome post, can’t wait to make these :)

  • Kelsey M

    March 26, 2015 at 12:01 PM Reply

    My faith in humanity was (somewhat) restored with this post.


  • Keith

    March 26, 2015 at 10:17 PM Reply

    Not sure what I like best…the food, the pics, or the sassyness of you’re descriptions… :)

  • Betty

    March 26, 2015 at 11:22 PM Reply

    Mandy these look amazing!!! Also loved what you said about tacos. So true :)

  • Heather

    March 27, 2015 at 12:37 AM Reply

    These are gorgeous! Sadly we are a no pork household but I may have to try that kiwi salsa.

    • Carol

      March 27, 2015 at 11:29 AM Reply

      Heather, I live in a non pork household too. That’s why there’s Jerk Chicken!

  • Jess @

    March 27, 2015 at 6:17 AM Reply


  • The Blonde Chef

    March 27, 2015 at 10:10 PM Reply

    Haha I love that comparison! People should be more like tacos. I think we would all be a lot cooler. Besides, your photos are GORGEOUS! Love the simplistic styling, here :)

  • Kari

    March 28, 2015 at 2:18 AM Reply

    These look delicious! Love that you compared us to tacos.

  • Jess

    March 29, 2015 at 12:41 AM Reply

    I made these last night and they were a hit! The kiwi salsa verde had way to much kick so I added some strawberries and it was delicious, I would suggest adding jalapenos slowly to regulate the heat.

  • Renee Kemps

    March 29, 2015 at 3:17 AM Reply

    Yay for tacos and their deliciousness for whatever you do with them! Great recipe and so many gorgeous photos!

  • Leo Sigh

    March 29, 2015 at 3:53 PM Reply

    Ye Gods, this looks amazing. And truly stunning photos. Will definitely be giving this a try. It hits every point on my ‘Ideal Food’ list :)

  • Thea @ Baking Magique

    March 29, 2015 at 10:42 PM Reply

    This truly looks amazing! I want this for dinner tonight… :)

  • Sara

    April 5, 2015 at 3:45 AM Reply

    I made these tacos for dinner tonight (with a slightly different cut of meat due to availability) and they were FANTASTIC. The kiwi salsa verde was a wonderful touch. These will definitely be going into my “to make again and again” list!

  • Angela

    April 5, 2015 at 11:41 PM Reply

    My husband and I made this last night and it was so incredible. I am really looking forward to leftovers today. It has a lot of ingredients but was pretty quick to throw together – I can definitely see this becoming a monthly tradition in our house. I have to admit, I didn’t make the avocado sour cream because 1) I am horrifically allergic to avocados, and 2) I am lactose intolerant, so that was an obvious no-go. But it was delicious even without that. Also, I didn’t find the kiwi salsa too spicy, but I am a spice fanatic, so.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 6, 2015 at 2:29 AM Reply

      Angela, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Yeah chili varies in heat so much, it’s hard to give absolute quantities, but I was definitely aiming for the fanatic range :)

  • Sally

    April 6, 2015 at 11:04 AM Reply

    Made this for dinner last night amd it was a Feast for everyone… Even the grandkids LOVED it! A little kick but they raved best Tacos ever. Wonderful talent and inspiration you are… Look forward to making more of your recipes!

  • François

    April 10, 2015 at 9:29 PM Reply

    Just fell on this recipe and we’re aiming to make it for dinner tonight. We were wondering though : can the pork be frozen once it’s cooked ? We’re only two people and, altough we could have people come over, we’ll probably have a HUGE leftover anyway.

    • Sally

      April 12, 2015 at 10:20 AM Reply

      It freezes GREAT! So nice to be able to thaw and have dinner ready in a flash after work

      • mandy@ladyandpups

        April 12, 2015 at 12:05 PM Reply

        Sally, oh sorry I coulnt answer your question in time! Thank you for testing it out yourself and letting us know. Great tip!

  • Asa

    April 12, 2015 at 7:21 AM Reply

    Made these today and they were amazing. We skipped the sour cream, and used grape tomatoes in the guacamole. Great pork recipe. I’m going to make the pork again and put it on nachos.

  • Daniela

    April 12, 2015 at 10:47 PM Reply

    Mandy I love your blog! Your writing, your food and your pictures! Seriously I just want to hang them in my house!

    Keep up with your amazing work, you have so much talent!

  • Asa

    April 14, 2015 at 11:58 PM Reply

    I feel the need to comment again, because I used the leftover pork topped with fried eggs for breakfast and it was AMAZING. I cannot say how much in love I am with this pork recipe. I tried making pork in a crock pot once but it came out terribly – I think I’ll just stick to this recipe and slow-roast in the oven. Thanks again for the awesome recipe.

  • Monica

    April 17, 2015 at 4:12 AM Reply

    Wow!! I drool in amazement your photos and foods I am in love!! I found your spicy salmon tartare 2013 first and went to see if you were still blogging. I will admit i have never made anything like the tartare but your photos made it look my armature level of cooking/prepping skills. I know my family will love the jerk pork tacos. I look forward to looking over more of your past posting and will join your blog and instagram.

  • Evyn

    April 23, 2015 at 12:03 PM Reply

    Just made this for dinner tonight, what an amazing combination of flavors. My kiwi salsa turned out much hotter than I anticipated but the meat was just to die for. So happy I made this, thank you!

  • Ian

    April 23, 2015 at 11:21 PM Reply

    Rarely do I ever find bad taco, honestly who can hate tacos. If some says they can, that means they just haven’t had the right one yet.

  • Holly

    May 1, 2015 at 10:40 PM Reply

    Spectacular dish! I made this for my fiancé and his brother, and when they were finally done eating they couldn’t stop raving about how delicious it was. I loved all the favors and textures together. This pork….is life! Thanks so much for another great recipe.

  • Nicholas

    June 15, 2015 at 2:32 PM Reply

    Can I just begin by saying: You are a culinary mastermind! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed these. The pork was just out of this world. My mouth was on fire eating these (I chose not to omit the seeds in the chilis, plus I used serranos instead of jalapeños), and I loved it! 5 stars from me!

    • Theo

      November 2, 2017 at 2:08 AM Reply

      I agree sooooooo much! I love every single one of your recipes! Thank you for this awesome blog – it changed my life!

  • Rose

    May 27, 2016 at 3:43 AM Reply

    Can I substitute chicken for the pork?

  • Nora

    December 12, 2017 at 3:05 AM Reply

    What is pickling juice.

  • foug

    December 20, 2018 at 4:53 AM Reply

    Not sure what I did wrong here… foil not air tight enough? Wrong sized dish? It didn’t taste bad but I did overcook it a bit….thanks!

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